Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Happy New Year 2013!!!

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Spectacular Event + Front Page!!!

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A spectacular time was had yesterday at the Duluth Futures presentations Clyde Iron Works.

The "Design Duluth" combined Landscape Architecture and Architecture graduate design studio from the Minneapolis campus of the UMN traveled north to present their semester's work to enthusiastic reviews by Mayor Don Ness, city planners, port authority folks and local design professionals.


You can read about it in the Duluth News Tribune, and on the College of Design Blog links below:

Huge thanks to Alex Guiliani at Clyde Iron Works, the College of Design, our own Randy Larson, and the great work by the students!


Recycling Thanksgiving

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We had some questions about what gets sorted out from the dumpsters we use, so we turned to our knowledgeable garbage guy Steve Christen from AA "Always Available" Roll Off Service.


What is getting recycled these days? Steve said the market is always in flux. One of the easiest things to recycle is construction wood, which is chipped for landscaping mulch.


For a while, Steve found a market for non-typical plastics in Ashland with a company that was recycling lawn furniture, but then that market disappeared. "With plastics, petroleum is embedded energy. At some point we are going to find the value in these materials."


One of the issues is that unlike some countries that have limited land area or broader protection policies, we still have plenty of space that is being used for landfills in the U.S. Until the price of land becomes more expensive than the value of the materials we are throwing away, markets for recycling will continue to be transitory.


Steve writes a monthly column as the "Recycling Guy" for the Superior Telegraph. It's a great read! You can email him your recycling quesetions at:


On another recycling note, folks had a great time at our Second Annual Leftover Thanksgiving potluck. We were having so much fun we forgot to make any photos until the party was over.


Leftover Thanksgiving!

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You are cordially invited to our second annual Leftover Thanksgiving, a drop-in potluck Friday November 23, 4 - 7 pm.

Turkey and drinks are provided--bring something you like to eat! Drop by and say hi or tuck-in for lively food and conversation.


We'd love to see you!

More Chickens

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This week we added to our Icelandic flock with assistance from David Grote at Whippoorwill Farm in Iron River, Wisconsin.

We took a road trip to Whippoorwill Farm and purchased two hens and a rooster, with the intentions of adding the hens to our pair, and giving the rooster to Theresa, one of our chicken benefactors.

Whippoorwill farm is beautiful. Even the overcast chill didn't take the spark out of the rolling hills and happy animals--three farm dogs, Priscilla the fjord horse, a pile of Icelandic sheep and an energetic coop of Icelandic chickens.


We had a great time, and finished our trip with a purchase of some of the beautiful hand-spun yarn David makes from his sheep's wool. We'll keep you posted on what creations come of the yarn from Monika and Opha. Vickie, our knitting friend, will whip up some warm goodies--note her matching sweater and half-gloves.



Theresa reports that the rooster is really mellow and is working well with her flock. Our chickens have been a different story--we now have Matilde on her own for awhile, to reflect on and hopefully reform her actions and stop pecking at the new hens, Bianca and Björk, who are patiently sitting in the background of this photo.



Stepping into Glasstec

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The Rheinturm reflecting on the Stadttor facade, and seen from inside the Stadttor building


Another bienneal event Meteek attended this Fall is Glasstec, the global glass tradeshow in Düsseldorf, Germany. Glasstec covers all aspects of glass, from solar installations and architecture to interior design and jewelry.


What does Meteek find so interesting about glass? Besides the glass office building facade that has become so ubiquitous, architectural glass is associated with industrial material companions, steel and fabric. And what pushes the envelope in material manufacturing and application of one of these materials often brings the other two along.

Interesting architectural uses of materials around Düsseldorf


Architectural glass has advanced the frontier of automated building systems, air exchange, active and passive solar systems, and complex fastening technologies. Glass, steel and fabric together have allowed breakthrough structural designs to emerge, and created the demand for dimensional computer modeling necessary for the structural testing and construction workflows for these designs.

One of the many displays of robotic technology for glass manufacturing and installation


Meteek is keen on innovating systems that work in our climate, and finding new material combinations, structural options and workflow technologies that align with our commitment to energy efficiency and beautiful design.

And we had a blast talking with innovators and manufacturers from all over the world, touring around Düsseldorf and catching up with friends in the glass trade.

New technologies including conductive thinfilm and printed photovoltaic laminates


With Joe, Bhavani, Kirsten and Phillip at La Donna Cannone


Hanging Out with Tracy Metz

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We had a thrilling weeked in Minneapolis with Tracy Metz and her husband Baptist Brayé. We toured architectural and cultural highlights and had engaging conversation with some UMN Landscape Architecture faculty.

At the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum and Minneapolis Library


Meeting with Vince deBritto and Jamuna Golden, instructors from the UMN Department of Landscape Architecture:


On Monday we sat in on second- and third-year Graduate Design studios from the Landscape Architecture and Architecture programs.

Visiting Matt Tucker's second year Graduate Design studio


and a combined Architecture and Landscape Architecture third year Graduate Design studio


Tracy's lecture Monday evening in Rapson Hall was intriguing and well-attended, with many good questions from a broad audience of students, pracitioners and general community members.


You can view Tracy's lecture here

We observed many conversations and ideas surfacing through Tracy's direct contact with faculty and students, as well as discussion about the broader issues addressed by her talk and book, Sweet&Salt. It was a pleasure to host her visit, and partner with the organizations that made her Minnesota visit possible!


Duluth Graduate Design Studio

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How does Duluth create more resilient physical, economic and social infrastructures? What might Duluth need in the next 20, 50 or 100 years? These are a few of the complex questions a group of graduate students from the UMN Minneapolis campus will address this semsester as they use Duluth as their design focus.


We hosted the group of 36 students and three instructors from Landscape Architecture and Architecture during their three-day visit of the city and environs. They toured the landscape and structure of the city, and heard presentations from the Port Authority, city officials including Mayor Don Ness, UMD campus planning, and about the underlying geomorphology of the area.


The students have much to think about for their upcoming analysis of Duluth. This information will then be used in teams on selected projects and sites within Duluth, culminating in design presentations at the end of the semester. We are looking forward to seeing what they create!


Thanks to all the presenters and folks who assisted in organizing the visit. At the City: Mayor Don Ness, Jessica Tillman, Chris Kleist, DyAnn Andybur, Chuck Froseth, Steven Robertson, Pakou Ly. At the Port Authority, Ron Johnson and Adele Yorde. At UMD, John Rashid, John Green, Erik Brown and Christine Strom.


Circle Touring

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We were excited to host three cyclists from Western Michigan on day 7 of their Lake Superior Circle Tour. Tara, Jill and Emma are braving the chilly autumn temperatures of the North Shore and plan to complete their trip in a couple more weeks.

Duluth is conveniently located at the "corner" of Lake Superior, where the South Shore (sandy and flat) and the North Shore (rocky and hilly) meet. Having started in Marquette, Michigan, they will be trading headwinds for hills as they ride up Highway 61 towards Thunder Bay and beyond. For Jill and Tara, this is their second lake circle tour--they rode around Lake Michigan last year, and plan to do Ontario next. After all the Great Lakes, they plan to ride the Continental Divide trail--a very impressive itinerary.


Stay superstrengthified and power to the pedal! Good luck and ride safe!

The bike shop where Jill works:

The bike shop where Tara works:
and updates about their trip:

Emma writes for this magazine:


The Chickens Have Landed

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People say that in Duluth everyone knows everyone. Sometimes even everyone knows that you need chickens.

Andrea and Jim, local chicken enablers, stopped by Meteek today to drop off a couple of chickens for us. They hatched an extra rooster and knew they wouldn't keep him, and since he was such good friends with Matilde, they came as a pair.


We didn't know Andrea and Jim were bringing them over. We didn't know they had an extra rooster. We didn't even know that Andrea and Jim kept chickens. But they heard we had been thinking about getting chickens. Someday. And someday is today.


We also found out that not only do chickens eat tomatoes, they also eat mice. We put Kazoo and Matilde out in the meadow in the chicken tractor that Andrea and Jim conveniently brought over for us. Kazoo found a mouse, Matilde took it from him and body-bocked him for about five minutes, then Kazoo got it back. Two pecks and a gulp, and it was down the gullet. Perhaps this is why the CSI shows are so popular--not enough people have their own chickens to watch.

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